One of the foremost teaching and research hospitals in Europe, University Children’s Hospital Zurich is leading the effort to unlock the mysteries of certain childhood diseases and disorders. One of the syndromes they are focusing on is dyscalculia, a developmental learning disorder affecting mathematical thinking skills in children, adolescents and adults. To develop early diagnosis and scientifically based therapies for this disorder, still more research is needed. Under the leadership of Prof. Michael von Aster, an internationally acclaimed scientist in this field, a group of researchers at the University Children’s Hospital is currently studying the neuronal correlates of dyscalculia in children.

NOMIS is funding carefully structured comparative research into the neuronal processes of children with and without developmental dyscalculia. This research has already significantly improved the targeted diagnosis of the disorder and is laying the groundwork for a computer-based training program, which is currently under clinical evaluation. As with all NOMIS-funded projects, results from this research are being widely shared throughout the scientific, medical and educational communities.

The project is being led by Prof. Michael von Aster at the Universitäts-Kinderspital Zürich.

Selective Motor Neuron Death in ALS

NOMIS is funding a multi-year research project entitled Genetic Engineering of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Reprogramming of Motor Neurons to Elucidate Selective Motor Neuron Death in ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, whose root cause is still unknown and for which only the most limited treatment is available. This important research project has the potential to aid in the development of targeted therapies and more effective treatment options for this devastating disease.

The project is being led by Prof. Oliver Mühlemann und Dr. Marc- David Ruepp at the University Bern.


Global Parliament of Mayors

CivWorld is an initiative hosted by the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, where CivWorld’s founder and president, Dr. Benjamin Barber, is a senior research scholar. Dr. Barber’s research focuses on the evaluation of democratic structures and systems with the goal of supporting further sustainable development of democracy in an interdependent world. CivWorld oversees a number of related projects whose objective is to raise public awareness and develop transnational solutions to various global challenges to democracy. Several of these innovative projects include: Interdependence Day, Working Group on Global Governance, Art of Common Space, and Civic Interdependence Curriculum.

From 2013 to 2015, NOMIS supported CivWorld’s pioneering efforts to establish a “global parliament of mayors” based on Dr. Barber’s book, “If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities,” as well as various other research activities related to CivWorlds’s Global Interdependence Initiative.

The project was led by Dr. Benjamin R. Barber at The City University of New York.

NOMIS workshop series: Nature and Value

From 2012 to 2016, NOMIS funded a series of workshops under the title Nature and Value. The workshop brought together senior scholars from such diverse disciplines as philosophy, geology, sociology, literature, political science and economics to share ideas, hypotheses and research findings regarding the interdependence of nature and human values.

Led by Akeel Bilgrami, the Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, participating scientists identified areas in which they might collaborate in new interdisciplinary research to gain fresh insights into the complex relations between humans and their natural environment. The final project workshop was held in April 2016.

The workshop series produced a range of papers and commentaries on two broad questions: “How and when did the concept of nature get transformed into the concept of natural resources?” and “What is the significance of disenchanting nature by evacuating it of all intrinsic value and relating to it in entirely instrumental terms — what are its human outcomes, its economic consequences, its political implications?” These questions were approached from philosophical, scientific, economic and literary angles by prominent international thinkers and scholars, the culmination of which has been published as a set of discussion papers on this website on Mar. 28, 2017.

NOMIS Workshop Series: Nature and Value Discussion Papers

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